“Alexa, wake me up at 6:45”
My 8 year old son snuggles up to his stuffed dog while I tuck him in.
It’s the first night back to a bedtime routine since winter break. Everything is peaceful; it’s not even 8PM.
Rewind twelve hours before though, and peaceful is not the word I would use.
“You’re always yelling at me!” My son cries from the bathroom floor as if the task of putting on just one sock in 10 minutes is simply unattainable.
Sound familiar mamas?
You’ve gotten up, poured the cereal, thrown your hair in a messy bun, and cheerfully woken your child up with a “good morning sweetie”.
What went wrong? Why are you always 30 seconds from yet another tardy slip as you fly into the drop off line, trying not to spill your coffee? Again, sound familiar mamas?
I don’t know the answers to a perfect morning, actually I despise mornings; but here are a few things
1. Set a Routine that Works and Follow it.
Your kids like a routine. For mine, setting an alarm with Alexa gives him the power over his day. He knows when his alarm goes off it’s time to get started. He sets it for a few minutes before I get up,so he can have some time to wake up alone. For yours, it may be turning on a certain type of music, having a cup of hot herbal tea, or hopping in the shower. Think about it mamas, do we like the lights turned on to wake us up with someone hovering over us saying: “get up, get dressed, eat, brush your teeth”, all within a matter of a half hour or so? Be mindful of this in the morning with your kids.
2. Lay Out Clothes for the Next Day.
Mamas this is a lifesaver. Before your bedtime routine, even if you don’t really have one (that’s an article for another day) make this simple, but so very valuable task, something you do each night. I’m talking the whole entire outfit: socks (oh dear, don’t forget the socks), shoes, coats, and even gloves if needed. Get your child’s input. This will avoid the “these pants don’t fit me” or “this shirt is scratching me” “I wanted to wear shorts instead!” Trust me, putting these few minutes as a priority the night before will save you much turmoil in the early morning hours.
3. Give Yourself Grace
This is important.
When nothing works and your morning is a mess, you’re tardy for the 7th time this month, and your coffee did spill (oh no, anything but the coffee),
Give yourself grace.
If you’re anything like me after a morning of tears, lost socks, short tempers, and rushed breakfasts, (or let’s face it a quickly slurped go-gurt thrown into the backseat of the car)- You’ll worry all day at work. Is his day okay? Did I ruin it all? Can he focus on his school work? Is he sad at lunch? Does he hate me? For what, mama? For being human?!
I think as single mothers we often forget: we are rocking this thing on our own. You’re the one who worked all day, the one who made the dinner, the one who gave the baths, and read the books, and put the laundry in, and said the bedtime prayers; and that’s just the start.
You’re the one who woke up to face another day of doing it all over again.
You are the one who deals with the tears and the melt downs and the homework; but you are also the one who gets the hugs, the cuddles, the “I love you mama”, and the “can you tuck me in?”
You, working single mama, are the one in your kid’s corner. Don’t forget it.
The world’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad. Here’s to messy buns, almost spilled coffee, and asking your kiddos to put their socks on for the 182794633479315th time….. all without losing your mind.